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Bharat Diamond Bourse Votes to Allow Synthetics

Dec 30, 2020 6:54 AM   By Rapaport News
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Members of Mumbai’s Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) have voted in favor of allowing lab-grown trading on the premises of the exchange.

The change will go into effect once the BDB has created guidelines for the sector, India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said in a statement Tuesday. Companies will be permitted to trade in lab-grown diamonds only after they have signed up to these directives.

Those wishing to buy and sell lab-grown may have to go through an application process, the statement noted. Other rules under consideration include requiring separate business entities for the two product types; ensuring robust segregation, for example by keeping natural and lab-grown goods in distinct office spaces; and mandating the use of different inventory-management systems for the two categories.

“The intention is to keep the two pipelines — natural and lab-grown — separate,” explained BDB vice president Mehul Shah. “The managing committee of BDB will now frame rules and guidelines on the same, and decide the date from when members can start to deal in synthetics.”

The vote, which took place at the bourse’s annual general meeting on Monday, came amid greater acceptance of synthetics in the diamond trade, as well as increased retail demand.

Lab-grown accounted for less than 1% of India’s diamond production five years ago — when the BDB introduced its ban on the product — compared with almost 5% now, the GJEPC pointed out. Furthermore, the segment gave the Indian diamond sector a lifeline during the pandemic, as it provided manufacturers with a substitute for natural stones during the industry’s freeze on rough imports, the council added.

“The decision to allow [lab-grown diamond] trading within [the] BDB will ensure the long-term sustainability of the Indian diamond-manufacturing industry,” commented Colin Shah, chairman of the GJEPC. “The industry has always believed in being inclusive, and there is a place for every product to exist as long as the disclosures are made. I see no reason why natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds cannot coexist, as both products are important for keeping the home fires burning.”

Image: Bharat Diamond Bourse. (Rapaport News)
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Tags: BDB, Bharat Diamond Bourse, India, lab-grown, lab-grown diamonds, mumbai, Rapaport News, Synthetic diamonds, Synthetics
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